New Delhi : Nearly 62 million Indians live in slums and the government is working to ensure them social justice and empowerment, Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja said Friday.
The government is working towards empowering slum dwellers, especially women, and has come out with programmes to provide affordable shelter and basic amenities to the urban poor, she said in her address at an international workshop on safety and security in slums at Oslo, Norway, organised by the Urban Poor Fund International (UPFI).
The UPFI is a self-governed financial facility that provides capital to members who are part of the Slum Dwellers International (SDI), an international network of federations of the urban poor.
“India has 286 million people living in 5,000 cities and towns out of which 61.7 million or nearly 22 percent urban population is living in slums and squatter settlements,” Selja said, adding the government is “striving hard by making policies and programmes for social justice and empowerment through a wide range of poverty alleviation measures.”
Under the Swaran Jayanti Shahri Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) – a poverty alleviation programme, the government was focussing on empowerment of the poor, especially women, she said.
They have also planned a comprehensive programme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which aims to develop basic services for the poor and promote land tenure, affordable shelter, water, sanitation, education, health and social security.
She said that growth, with equity, and focussed programmes to eliminate and deal with urban poverty, will have to be high on the agenda of the governments, both at the central and state levels.
Selja, who also holds the Tourism portfolio, will also take part in a gala event in Oslo where “Incredible India” roadshows have been organised for the first time.